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Council planners 'are following advice on chicken farms'

By Elgan Hearn | Mid Wales | News | Published:

Council planners claim that they are taking into account the cumulative effects chicken farms have on a neighbourhood when assessing planning applications.

There have been concerns over the number of chicken farms

Due to concerns about the amount of planning applications or intensive poultry unit’s being made by farmers, the Welsh Government’s chief planning officer Neil Hemington issued extra advice in June 2018.

The existence of advice was revealed by Montgomeryshire AM, Russell George when he met a group of campaigners who are against the building of chicken farms near their homes.

Mr Hemington said: “Intensive agricultural units particularly pig and poultry farms, can affect both sensitive habitats and the local population.

“This is largely though the release of pollutants including: ammonia, nutrients from manure, litter and slurry: effluent discharges, dust, odour and noise.

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“There is a need to exercise particular care when considering developments which would bring livestock units within close proximity to sensitive land uses such as homes, schools, hospitals, office development or sensitive environmental areas.

“Importantly while an individual intensive livestock development may be acceptable, the cumulative impacts resulting from similar developments nearby should also be taken into account.”

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The advice comes following conversations between Montgomeryshire AM, Russell George and Lesley Griffiths AM when she was the Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs.

Expertise

In a reply to Mr George, Ms Griffiths said: “When determining applications LPA (Local Planning Authorities) should consider the factors such as noise, smells, pollution and heath, as well as any in-combination or cumulative effects.

“LPAs need to ensure they have access to sufficient expertise to consider the effects of development and where they do not have this in-house, I expect them to acquire it from other LPAs or purchase it from external suppliers.”

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A spokesman for Powys County Council said: “Cumulative impacts are taken into account when considering and determining planning applications for intensive livestock units including poultry units.

“In addition to direction provided in a letter from chief planning officer Neil Hemington, the adopted Powys Local Development Plan includes policies such as DM2, that ensure cumulative and in-combination impacts are considered and taken into account.

“A number of statutory consultees on planning applications such as Natural Resources Wales (NRW) also take into account cumulative impacts when responding to consultations on planning applications.

“Some applications are also subject to regulatory assessments e.g. Environmental Impact Assessments and Habitats Regulatory Assessments which look at cumulative impact and inform the decision-making process.”

Elgan Hearn

By Elgan Hearn
@ElganPowysLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Powys.

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